Shawangunk Ridge Trail: Run Your Own Race

“I just signed up for the Shawangunk Ridge 30.”

There was silence on my end of the phone as I took in what Freebird had said.  I attempted to deflect: But, we did that last year. He responded nonchalanty, So it will be easy.

Ice Cave Mountain

The Shawangunk Ridge Trail (SRT) is a 70 mile hiking trail that traverses the entire length of the Shawangunk mountains. The not-for-profit Run Wild Inc. created an event to celebrate the preservation of this incredible open space by encouraging people to come out and see its natural beauty. Directed by long distance runner/hiker and barefoot guru Ken Posner, the SRT Run is self-supported with an emphasis on minimalism.

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Sterling Forest Ramble

It’s been a weird summer. I spent most of June and July working and schlepping stuff to a self storage unit as I prepare for an impending divorce. I managed to choose the hottest day of the summer to move out of the place I’ve lived for 25 years and into a garret apartment in a nearby town.

McKeag’s Meadow Trail

For a couple of months, it’s been nothing but upheaval, and I’ve scrambled to get any sort of training in. Finally, I’m sort of settled down, and the opportunity for a long run presented itself.

Last Thursday, I drove up to Sterling Forest, just over the New York state line, to take another shot at a route that eluded me last fall.

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Platte Clove: Off-Trail in the Catskills

Platte Clove in the northeast Catskills is among the wildest sections of the range. It’s a deep ravine created by ice age glaciers that drops about 1500 feet in little over two miles. The clove contains 17 separate waterfalls and is home to some of the Catskills’ most primeval terrain.

Platte Clove waterfalls
Lower waterfall

I joined my friend Bruce on the Friday before Labor Day weekend for an exploration of the southwest corner of the clove. As a frequent hiker through the clove, Bruce is an excellent guide — happy to point out areas of interest and equally as happy to explore remote corners of the clove. It’s potentially dangerous terrain, but with Bruce leading the way, I was in good hands.

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